Preliminary hearings set for two men accused of killing Ryan Gatzke

Preliminary hearings were set in North Battleford Provincial Court for two men accused of killing Ryan Gatzke in 2019.

The hearings for Jacob Ballantyne, 25, and Isaac Melko, 22, were set on Jan. 13, 2021.

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Ballantyne’s hearing will run from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21, 2021, and Melko’s hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25 to Oct. 29. Ballantyne and Melko are charged with second-degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Co-accused Charles McLean, who is charged with manslaughter, break and enter with intent, and a firearms offence, also had an appearance in North Battleford Provincial Court on Jan. 13. His matter, however, was adjourned to March 10 to be spoken to.

All three remain in custody.

A young offender - whose name can’t be released in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act - was charged with second-degree murder, break and enter with intent to commit an indictable offence, disguise with intent, carry a weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, possession of a firearm without a license, and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

Police say in October 2019, an injured twenty-seven-year-old Ryan Gatzke was found in a house in Battleford. He was taken to the North Battleford hospital where he was declared deceased.

 

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